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What Is a Toner and Do I Need It in My Routine?

A melanated woman of deep complexion cleansing her face utilizing a textured round cotton pad

Have you ever thought you thoroughly washed your face only to find remnants of makeup or dirt on your pillow the next morning? Sometimes a single wash just doesn’t do the trick. The good news? A toner may be just the answer you’ve been searching for.

You may be wondering, what’s a toner, anyway? Don’t worry the Melanin Experts™ are here to help you figure it out and how to integrate a toner into your daily skincare routine.

So, what’s a toner?

If you’ve ever stopped at facial toners in the skincare section you may have picked it up and put it back down unsure if it would be beneficial to add to your routine. You’re not the only one. The first step to identifying whether a new product would be good for you is by understanding what it is.

A toner is a lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and temporarily shrink the appearance of pores and is usually used on the face. If you have oily blemish-prone skin or if you’re looking for an extra deep clean after wearing makeup or heavy skin products, a toner may just be your secret weapon.

Depending on the type of facial toner you choose, you can boost your skincare routine by:

  • Decongesting pores removing dirt and oil that clogs pores to leave your skin looking smoother and your pores looking smaller
  • Restoring your skin’s pH balance by returning it to its normal levels after using a soap-based cleanser
  • Protecting your skin by closing off your pores reducing your skin’s vulnerability to impurities and environmental stressors
  • Providing intense hydration and increases the absorption of your favorite moisturizer
  • Refreshing the skin for a total spa-like feel after cleansing your skin
  • Laying a solid foundation for the rest of your skincare routine whether you’re getting ready for the day or going to bed

How do I add a toner to my skincare routine?

You’ve probably already guessed that toner is the next step after your initial cleanser. If you’re feeling extra moody for some pampering, now’s the time to mask it up! After masking, it’s time to apply your other serums - remember to apply in order of thinnest to thickest. If you struggle with undereye circles now’s the time to apply your revitalizing eye serum. Last, but not least no matter what skin type you have, apply a moisturizer to seal in all of your hard work.

Keep in mind, there are a multitude of toners out there. Don’t grab the first toner you see when you go to the skincare section or browse your favorite brand’s site. Be on the lookout for these popular references when you start your search:

Micellar Water is less of a toner, more of a cleansing water and it is great for breaking down the oils in makeup to remove those stubborn traces you’ve often found on your pillow.

Rosewater is suitable for sensitive skin types and cleanses pores while hydrating and revitalizing to leave your skin feeling soft.

Witch Hazel is an antioxidant that cleanses, clarifies, decongests pores, removes dirt and debris and improves the appearance of inflamed skin.

Take the time to read each label to determine if the toner you’ve stumbled upon is right for you.

For other information, education and resources on how to maintain your melanin-rich glow, check back on The Glow-Up Guide often!